view Broadbent's match-by-match record

Signed from Bristol Rovers in January 2019, the big central defender had previously spent six years in the Army, his performances playing part time football in between serving his country catching the eye of several clubs. With a tour of Afghanistan on his CV, he decided to go full time as a professional footballer upon joining Rovers in 2017.

Despite paying an undisclosed fee for his services, Broadbent never seemed to win over Town boss Richie Wellens - and when he didn't impress in cup defeats against Chelsea U21 and Colchester in the early part of the 2019/20 season, and though niggling injuries didn't help, he made just three league starts in an aborted campaign that would see the Town lift the League Two title.

After being told he was free to find a new club over the summer, Broadbent was originally not given a squad number for the 2020/21 campaign - and it wasn't until Wellens left the club to be replaced with John Sheridan that he would return to the squad - the defender coming off the bench to net a last-minute winner in an EFL Trophy match at Forest Green in mid-November. Though the match was a meaningless dead rubber, it did feel like some sort of redemption for the defender.

Broadbent's second Town goal came just eighteen days later, and was altogether more memorable. A goal down with thirty minutes remaining in a local derby at Oxford, with the Town having not beaten the U's in a league game for almost twenty years, Sheridan threw Broadbent on up front in a desperate attempt to turn the game around, and incredibly it worked - first, the defender-turned-targetman spun in the box to net an equaliser with five minutes to go, before getting his head on a long ball forward, and into the path of striker Tyler Smith to get the faintest of touches for the winner. Though the match was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was greeted with a hero's welcome, with fans having gathered at the County Ground to salute their unlikely derby match-winner. Sheridan attempted to repeat the trick in the following game - Broadbent named as a starting striker at Crewe - but after going 2-0 up, a jaded Town side later conceded four without reply, and Broadbent was forced off with an injury that would keep him out for two months.

On his return to fitness in February, Broadbent was restored to his more familiar defensive role and had a run of seven starts alongside the also fit-again Dion Conroy. Town’s 2-1 defeat against Oxford saw both substituted by Sheridan in the 87th minute in a move seemingly designed mostly to humiliate his senior defenders, leading to a memorable post-match interview with assistant Tommy Wright - questioned on the motivation behind the substitution, Wright spluttered "they’re not children" and then bizarrely pointed to Broadbent's height as a reason that he shouldn't feel aggrieved by it. In a seemingly conciliatory move, the pair were named in Town's starting defence against Gillingham four days later, before being hauled off again as part of an unprecedented quintuple substitution by Sheridan with the Town 3-1 down.

At the end of the season, Broadbent was released along with almost all of Town's out of contract players, having made 27 starts and 17 substitute appearances over three seasons at Town. He scored only two goals - but one of them will live long in the memory of Town fans.


Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'20/'21 11 (+7) 1 - - - - (+1) 1 11 (+8) 2
'19/'20 3 (+6) - - - 1 - 2 (+1) - 6 (+7) -
'18/'19 10 (+2) - - - - - - - 10 (+2) -
TOTAL 24 (+15) 1 - - 1 - 2 (+2) 1 27 (+17) 2


18 JAN 2019 IN Bristol Rovers
Undisclosed fee ()
14 MAY 2021 OUT (released)
» Eastleigh

full name

Thomas William Broadbent


date of birth
15 February 1992


usual positions
central defence

youth career
AFC Bournemouth

senior career
Bognor Regis Town
Chichester City
Army FA
Petersfield Town
Hayes & Yeading United
Bristol Rovers